Police officer admits sharing confidential data that landed with target of investigation


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MORRISTOWN, New Jersey — A northern New Jersey police officer has admitted sharing confidential information from a police database with someone who then passed it on to a third person who was the target of an investigation.

Ryan Eastridge of Oxford pleaded guilty Tuesday to a disorderly person's offense of obstructing the administration of law enforcement. He also will forfeit his job with the Mount Olive force and will never seek public employment in law enforcement again as part of his plea deal with Morris County prosecutors.

Eastridge, 29, had served on the Mount Olive force for seven years. He will pay $625 in fines, but won't face any jail time or probation.

Prosecutors say the incident occurred in May, adding that Eastridge did not intend for the information to get to the target, who soon fled New Jersey but was later caught in another state.

Eastridge's attorney, Edward Bilinkas, said a neighbor asked his client to go into the database to see if there was an active arrest warrant for one of his workers. After finding there was a warrant, Eastridge gave the information to the neighbor, never realizing the target would be alerted.

The neighbor, though, told his employee.

Several Mount Olive officers attended the hearing in a show of support for Eastridge.

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